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Chicago's curricular laundry aired in the late 1998 and early 1999 press-including the front-page New York Times story "Winds of Change Rustle University of Chicago"-was hung on the line again in Lingua Franca's April issue. Berkeley public-policy professor David L. Kirp, who is currently writing a book on higher education in the age of money, condensed the debate in "Hurricane Hugo," a retrospective of the campus controversy that could be characterized in reductionist terms as the life of the mind vs. the life of the wallet.

The headline, of course, refers to Hugo Sonnenschein, Chicago's president during its tumultuous self-evaluation of the mid-1990s. "Although Hugo Sonnenschein may have lost the personal battle," observes Kirp, alluding to the president's 1999 decision to step down, "he has won the war, for all his priorities are firmly in place." Kirp is referring here to the larger undergraduate student body, the reduction of the College core requirements, and the increased publicizing of the U of C's merits. Although there is still concern in some corners that the University is being run like a business, Kirp assures his readers that "All's quiet on the curricular front."-C.S.

 


 JUNE 2001

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